13 Ways I’ve Made Money From Travel Blogging (And How Much I Was Paid!)

‘How do you make money from travel blogging?’ must be the question I am asked most, both online and in person. And I get it. If I wasn’t a blogger I’d want to know how they make a living too! It all looks so easy or, in some cases, a little (dare I say it?) suspicious. So I thought it was time I opened up on the topic of monetisation.

I’ve covered many blogging tips over the years but this is first time I’ve touched on the golden topic of making money from blogging. So before we begin, let’s start with a few disclaimers.

Firstly, the fees mentioned in this post are just a guide. Every blogger will charge differently for their services depending on a number of factors such as their reach, influence, expertise and experience. The fees also vary for every project depending on the deliverables.

Secondly, bear in mind it’s taken me 7 years of blogging graft and 4 years of working in travel digital marketing to get to this stage. My experience as a social media consultant has helped massively with building my blogging business, and vice versa.

This ties into my third point, which is I make the bulk of my income from consulting, community management and copywriting work that is not directly related to this site (although clients often find me through it and are encouraged to work with me on the basis of what they see here). To keep matters simple I’ve just focused on work directly related to Girl Tweets World in this post.

And finally, these are examples of some projects I’ve been involved in during the last 7 years. They are by no means an indication of what I earn each month. (If only, my friends, if only!)

Right, now all that guff is out of the way – let’s get stuck in.

*Note this post was written in 2015 but I updated it in September 2017 with more recent project examples and prices. Click here to read the 2020 version.

13 ways to make money blogging

13 ways you can make money from travel blogging

1. Blog Trips (Rate £300 – £500 per day)

Some people find the notion of bloggers being paid for blog trips offensive or baffling so this topic needs a little explanation.

When I’ve been paid for blog trips it’s because there has been a lot of work involved. For example, I might be producing content for the host’s blog, taking over their Facebook page, providing a collection of royalty-free images or using a sponsored hashtag. Depending on what the project involves I will itemise all these services and we’ll come to a flat fee or day rate for the project depending on how and when the content is due.

I’ve also been invited on blog trips (and press trips) where there are no fees involved and I therefore set the expectation of what I will produce in return for the travel offered. (If it happens to be somewhere I really, really want to go or is somewhere I would have paid to go myself anyway.)

Whether paid or not I always ask what is the expectation of me for participating in the trip and make sure all parties are clear about the way I work. I never compromise the right to publish my truth and try to work with the host to make sure I am able to explore a destination as I normally would, therefore delivering the content I know my readers want to see. The best projects are when I’ve worked with the likes of Tippett PR who spearheads creative collaborations between bloggers and brands that are a win-win for all parties.

On travel blogger integrity

2. Instagram/Facebook Takeovers (Rate £200 – £300)

I am sometimes hired by travel brands (such as Tourism Taiwan and Cathay Pacific) to takeover their Facebook page or Instagram account for a period of time. This is something that I’ve done both as a one off or as part of a blog trip.

Little tip: Often when I am offered a blog trip I go back to the brand with a list of services they can pick and choose from to build up a package that is both more engaging and far reaching than just producing blog content.

3. Co-Host A Twitter Chat (From £300)

I’ve co-hosted Twitter chats in the past for the likes of KLM Air France and Skyscanner Australia. The fee will depend on how much time I am needed for and whether blog posts will also need to be written in association with the event. I have 22k followers on Twitter at the moment – I’m not sure if those with more followers command a higher fee? (Anyone want to chip in?)

4. Create A Twitter Chat (£0 – £600)

I also used to co-host my own Twitter chat with Monica from The Travel Hack. We ran a chat called #TravelBookChat that reached over 1 million Twitter followers and was open up to sponsorship by suitable brands, mainly publishers.

Due to moving to Oz this became hard to sustain and is not something I run in 2017.

5. Sponsored posts (£400-£600)

Making a living from travel blogging

I hate the negative connotation of a sponsored post as there are many ways that you can write them that are both beneficial for the reader and pay the bills!

In my case I write everything you see on this site, always have, so I never accept any sponsored guest content. But every now and then a brand might approach me to talk about a particular subject, in the way I usually would, and they pay me to take the time to do this.

For example, I recently wrote this post about how I book my flights with Skyscanner, something I’ve been doing organically for years. All opinions in the post are mine, the content (I think!) is useful, so the reader wins and the brand gets coverage. I always disclose the brand association on the post so no one feels they are getting duped!

(Check the advertising standards in your country for guidance on disclosure.)

I rarely run sponsored posts on my social feeds because personally I find this a little jarring. I would rather include social promotion within a larger campaign. Many bloggers do run sponsored Instagram posts, however, and I read that charging approx £100 per 10,000 followers was the norm.

6. Host A Contest (£250 – £500)

I love being able to give free things away to readers so often if a brand approaches me looking for coverage I point them in this direction. I tend to create, host and promote the contest and for this they pay me a management fee.

Sometimes the cost of the prize is deducted from the fee – so the better the prize the less I get as a host but the better it is for readers! I don’t tend to promote contests that are hosted on other sites as I prefer to be able to offer something that is unique to my readership.

7. Create Social Media/Blog Content For Brands (£250 – £1000)

This one is often tied into blog trips but is not always. Many of the brands I’ve worked with (in both a blogger and consultant capacity) are always looking for unique content they can share on their own social media channels. This is basically what I do all day so I pitch to them a number of content ideas I can produce for them to use on their own websites and social pages as they wish.

8. Brand Ambassadorships (£2000+)

13 ways to make money from travel blogging

These are the nice, meaty projects where a brand basically wants to be associated with my own. Often there are a number of elements involved – I might be asked to judge a contest (like with Three mobile), review products, film a video (Visa) or feature in their newsletter (Muji).

The fees for this type of campaign factor in both the promotion and content required as well as the way the brand wants to use my name in association with their own. Sometimes these projects are one off (like the Muji travel campaign) and sometimes they are of an on-going nature where I’ll work with the brand in a number of different capacities over a couple of months.

I believe your personal brand is one of your most valuable assets so I don’t go around hooking up with just anybody. (I was a genuine customer of all brands mentioned above before we discussed partnership.)

9. Speaking At Events (£0 – £500)

I used to speak at quite a lot of blogging events in the UK. At first I was terrified but then I slowly began to realise that it’s not so hard to just talk about what you love. Sometimes a speaking gig might be unpaid (such as the World Travel Writers’ Conference in the Maldives) but your travel and expenses are covered and you get to attend a great networking event for free.

10. Advertising (From £100 per month)

Advertising is (clearly!) not a big earner for me. I prefer to keep my sidebars uncluttered and focused on content so I very rarely allow it. In some circumstances a brand might want to buy a banner ad in association with a review I did for them. For example, I worked with Cathay Pacific on a project where I reviewed a Premium Economy flight for their website and then I hosted a banner ad on my site which linked to that review.

11. Affiliate Sales (£100 – £200 per month)

Again, not a big earner for me. Mainly because I suck at it! I often forget to add affiliate links to posts and am aware that I don’t have pages optimised for this type of conversion. Some bloggers, for example, have a travel resources page with affiliate links to companies they recommend and they make a small percent off any sale through that link. I am working on improving my affiliate income after taking The Blogger Course (an affiliate link!) in 2017. At the moment my affiliate sales mainly come through 1 post about Ao Nang Krabi where I’ve mentioned the hotel we stayed at on booking.com.

12. Blogger One-on-Ones (£30 per hour)

I started getting approached by bloggers a few years ago who would like an objective assessment of their site/content and advice for improvement so I began offering blogger consulting in person or via Skype for a nominal fee. I really enjoy this type of work and often it reminds me to go back and fix things on my site, which I had overlooked or not improved for some time. A big part of my ‘day job’ is doing social media audits and strategies for companies so this work also helps me with ways to approach that.

(Update: Due to limited time I no longer offer this service.)

13. Hosting An Insta-Walk (£1000+)

Travel blogger meet up in Sydney

I held an Insta-Walk in Sydney on behalf of Kodak Moments and it was such a fun way to simultaneously connect with local bloggers and offer a brand coverage on my blog in an innovative way. I pitched the client this idea as I thought it was more engaging than a sponsored post and it worked really well. I’d love to do more in future now that I have a new base in Melbourne.

So that’s the end of my massive post on this tough topic. I think I’ve covered all the main income threads, although it can and does change every week. Is this pretty much what you imagined a travel blogger does for a living or have I mentioned anything you hadn’t considered?

Further reading:

Making a living from travel blogging: 15 things you need to know

10 blogging tools I use everyday to make my blog better

How to pitch for campaigns with brands and PR companies

About the author

I’m Jayne, a travel blogger, content creator and mum to a 4-year-old son. I’ve been blogging since 2010, travelled to 65 countries and share travel guides and tips to help you plan stylish, stress-free trips.

68 thoughts on “13 Ways I’ve Made Money From Travel Blogging (And How Much I Was Paid!)”

  1. Thanks for sharing this information so generously Jayne. It’s always such a mine field of what to charge or even if you want to monetise I guess. I’m 6 months in and just trying to build a decent readership so nowhere near this yet but definitely food for thought. Thanks so much xx

    • You’re welcome! I think there is still a lot of guesswork involved for all of us but hoped this might help in some small way those who were thinking about monetizing. It can be an awkward subject to bring up but one I think we are all keen to learn more about!

  2. It’s so refreshing to read an honest, open post about monetization, rather than the usual vague ones that don’t give you figures or really useful info. I think I’m about on-track with my figures (compared to yours on a scale – in terms of age of blog, expertise etc etc). Thanks for sharing and good luck with the e-book. 🙂

    • Thanks Taylor. Money is such an awkward subject but I agree it can be useful to know if you’re on track or accidentally undercutting someone else’s prices! I figured seen as I share everything else it makes sense to talk about monetization and see if it opens up a discussion.

  3. Thanks for being so brutally honest here! Interesting to see some of the rates you’ve been able to get for various campaigns, and for what things you charge for.

    I make a lot of my blog income through (in this order, high to low): banner advertising, freelance writing, affiliate sales, promotions (sponsored contests) and occasional sponsored posts (I charge a high rate and only work with brands on my own terms). I’ve got my series of 12 Hipster City Guides which are my most popular content, but I provide them fully free-of-charge, kind of as a “thank you” to the internet. I monetize the guides by making money through affiliate sales and the banners since I’m part of a premium ad network.

    I’ll be very interested to hear a follow-up once your ebook has been live for a while to find out what kind of income you’re making from such a useful, independently researched travel guide!

    • Thanks for sharing too Adam! There’s so many different ways to approach it and I guess revenue streams will change depending on the type of content and blog you produce. I like your approach of providing the guides for free with some affiliate links in them to cover costs – the reader wins and the content is there (and easily updateable) forever.

      Creating the ebook was a great learning experience, I shall definitely share any insights from it. It’s quite detailed so I thought this might be an easier way for the reader to access the content rather than saving a series of posts. We’ll have to see what they think though!

  4. Great post, Jayne! There can be a lot of secrecy when it comes to actual figures, so it’s refreshing to see a blogger being open about it. It helps other bloggers know their worth and avoid undercutting or being unrealistic with fees.

    I only recently found out that bloggers are sometimes paid to attend trips, but you’ve clearly outlined the extra work that’s expected beyond regular coverage – that’s very helpful.

    • Thanks Cherie, I agree it can be helpful to get an idea of what the industry standard price for services are so you know where to put yourself on the scale. I think I was lucky that from working in-house I got to see what marketers were prepared to pay and what you could expect from bloggers in return, so I used that in my own pitches going forward.

    • That’s a lovely approach. I don’t expect to get rich from blogging but if can help support the things I love it’s a win-win!

    • O gosh yes, there is so much to it in terms of pitching, producing the content and tying it all up with reports. Maybe I need to get started on my next e-book!

  5. When I started blogging 3 years ago there was no one who would provide this type of information, its incredibly generous and innovative of you to share like this. I know how much work has been involved to get to this stage. Most PRs don’t pay you to go on press trips I find, the money comes from pitching magazines and newspapers but that in itself is a whole new subject! Looking forward to read your new book – massive congratulations, best, Janine

    • Thanks Janine. It was the same when I started out. I see a lot of bloggers in different industries being very open about monetization and funding though so I thought it might be helpful to follow suit. If only to start the conversation. I know everyone does it differently so it would be refreshing to see more people explain their approach to professional blogging.

  6. Hi Jayne,
    Thanks a lot for writing this – putting it out there and giving us an idea on what you charge. All is greatly appreciated.
    I’ve just been on my first press trip. Writing it up over the next week! Some brilliant moments were had but it has opened my eyes to how some in ‘traditional press’ view blogs and bloggers. It’s been very insightful.
    Once again. Thanks.

    • Ah yes I remember those days of having to explain (and justify) my position – constantly. When I first started attending press trips I think the journos wondered what I was doing on my phone all the time and left me to it, but nowadays I find people asking inquisitive questions and having dabbled a bit in blogging and social media themselves most are very keen to learn more. It’s been an interesting switch over the last few years!

  7. Thanks for posting! I’m no where near this level yet and just blogging to keep family posted and what not, and not sure it will ever turn into anything, but even so I love learning about people who can make some money doing things they love!

    Keep up the awesome work!

    • Hi Angela, that’s exactly how I started out and how I still think of blogging when I write my posts. It surprised me where it all led to so you might be surprised yet 🙂

  8. Thanks Jayne for the detailed info! I’m just getting into the business side of blogging and from this vantage point, it still looks pretty much crazy and impossible. Hearing from those who have done it is inspiring and motivating. Looking forward to your lessons on ebook writing soon 🙂

  9. Hi Jayne, so glad I stumbled upon your post this morning! Others have already said it, but it really is so refreshing to see someone being so honest about their figures in a part like this – and very interesting for me now as I’m staying to look for more ways to monetise my blog.

    I’ve been blogging for three years now but I still feel like I’m just starting out, so I think I often undervalue myself when quoting prices to brands. Do you have any specific techniques to work out how much to charge?

    One other question for you – do you have any tips for moving into brand ambassadors hip with a client? There are a couple of brands I’ve been working with on reviews over the years, ones I genuinely use and recommend, and generally I just tend to write reviews in exchange for product samples, but I’d love to move those relationships up a notch. At what point can you say to someone that you’re now charging for product reviews?!

    Thanks again for an awesome article, and good luck with your ebook!

    • Hi Emily, I’m so sorry I didn’t spot this question before now. With regards to product reviews I don’t do so much of this myself but I do know from my experience of moving from press trips to paid trips that it might be possible to ‘upsell’ to your current contacts. By that I mean that rather than telling them you now charge for the same thing you did for free before, pitch to them a package that will be far more valuable. For example, can you offer them access to images, features in a newsletter, increased social media coverage that would lead to better results for them and warrant a fee for your time/content/ideas? If you’re brave enough you could tell them that that is the only way you work now as it produces better results for everyone. I’m finding that more brands are beginning to understand what goes in to running a blog and that we need to earn a living in order to sustain it, so as long as the results/items offered warrant the spend they are willing to pay for it.

  10. Very helpful. I started out looking to see if anyone actually doing anything with Nuffnang Australia other than displaying the blue logo but you’ve inspired me to go back and take a look a bit wider on where I should be focusing.

    • I’ve had a few interesting things come in via them – not that frequent but enough to keep me signed up for now 🙂

  11. Brilliant post! Thanks for sharing. You should publish your eBook on your site so you earn 100% of the price. I can ask my web developer what program he uses for my online shop? It wasn’t expensive to install, you can add as many products as you like and you get to keep every cent. But is Amazon great to get your product out to the masses? Xx

    • I have been thinking about doing this Jaharn as the eBook is meant primarily for my blog readers and from what I can see Amazon hasn’t bought in any new readers that didn’t already know me. It would be great to learn more about how you set up your shop for the next update. J x

  12. Incredible post, Jayne. THANK YOU so much for this. As a travel blogger, I have known very many of us not sharing our trade secrets. Thanks to you, my faith is restored. Apart from that, this is a very helpful one. I know where my strengths stand and how I may use them to survive in the field. 🙂

  13. Really interesting post. I’m actually a journalist and travel writer by trade, and we never charged (or were paid by our employers) to go on famils and press trips. We were expected to take holidays and go on our own time, although could produce the stories in work time. I have been invited to and been hosted by some airlines, destinations etc as a blogger and I’ve never dared to ask for money for attending. Sometimes the companies don’t even cover costs such as airport parking or transfers. I have been to events where we haven’t been even offered food or drink! Others, have been great and the PR has worked hard to make sure we were looked after and not out of pocket. I work my butt off when I go to an event or on a trip, promoting across all my social media channels and writing posts, taking photos on my camera and phone … I don’t think some Australian companies get how valuable this is. Hopefully it’s changing.

    • Hi Bronnie, there is a definite distinction in the UK between press trips and blog trips. I was often invited on both types and each had a different level of expectation in terms of output and renumeration. A blog trip (arranged by a good PR!) always included time on the itinerary for us to update social profiles, would often require blog posts to be written in destination (depending on the length of trip), might also involve a contest or live chat element with the readers as well as a certain amount of content produced after the trip (supplying images to the tourism board for example). These sort of projects always had a fee attached (and often a contract) whereas on a press trip I was often left to decide myself how many posts I would produce in return for the trip. I appreciate it’s quite a murky new world though and often the two concepts get muddled – at the end of the day we are all just trying to find the best way to do what we love! I’ve noticed a lot of brands in Australia are quite comfortable paying Instagrammers to take trips and supply images for the brand’s use though so it will be interesting to see how the relationship with bloggers evolves over time.

  14. Thank you for your honesty and guidance Jayne! An extremely useful post for aspiring travel bloggers. I would love to publish a story some day but figure since I’ve been blogging for 2 years and still don’t have much traffic that there must be some necessary quality lacking in my writing, and might remain ‘aspiring’ for now. I’ll never say never though!

  15. Thanks for sharing all the detail! I also appreciated seeing how big each revenue stream is relative to each other. I have a full time career, but have been travel blogging more and more, ever since I took a half-year break from it to travel around the world (and post about it on Visit50.com!).

    Are you generally pitching yourself/services to tourist boards and PR agencies, or are they approaching you?

    • Hey Todd, I do a bit of both. I tend to always reach out first to those I’ve met at networking events or who have contacted me regarding campaigns in the past as then I know they have an appetite for working with bloggers or we have already established a relationship. Sometimes I don’t know the PR for the place concerned so I will introduce myself to the manager or marketing team directly and see how that goes. Oftem it’s the smaller hotels or travel brands I’ve approached that I have a better relationship with as we talk openly and directly about what each other is looking for out of the collaboration. I shared some tips for pitching to brands and PR here https://www.ourtravelhome.com/bloggers-guide-to-pitching-pr-companies/ J

  16. Brilliant post – I’m so glad I came across this on Facebook this morning! I have only started taking my travel blogging seriously over the past 6 months, and have been *attempting* to do it full time for the past 6 weeks. Like you, hardly any money comes from advertising. I only get about 20 euro a month from my 2 small google ads, so I’m tempted to just take them down. I get offered lots of press trips, where everything is paid for, but have not been offered much paid blog trips. Just tow so far…and the is certainly nowhere near the figures you are quoting. Mayb PRs in Ireland don’t have as much money haha. Do these PRs and travel companies pay based on you website traffic or do they take you social media reach into account as a big decider?

    Currently I am making the most money from freelance writing gigs, so in other words writing blog posts for other people’s sites rather than my own. I would love to get to the stage where people pay me to go on trips and then pay me to post about where I have been on my own blog. Anyway, thanks again for such an open and honest post…I now know what to be aiming for!

    • Hi Janet, Thanks so much for your comment and your feedback on Twitter. I wrote this post a little while ago but it’s good to know it’s still helpful. To answer your question re paid trips it tends to be a combination of my audience (both blog and social media) plus the content produced that is taken into account. On most projects I charge a day rate for social media then a flat fee per blog post produced – these can be on my own or the client’s sites. For other trips I’ve also been paid to produce content/images for their social channels, to do social media takeovers and provide video clips. Each project is different and the fees are worked out on a case by case basis but in general I find its been easier to work with brands on a fee per output basis as opposed to a flat fee per day to work with me. It makes the spend more tangible for the brand and has results/output I can measure to show I performed my part of the contract. It also means the expectations are very clear from the outset and no one is confused about what I will be offering in return. Hope this helps. J x

  17. Oh my gosh. This information is so helpful! Thank you for breaking it down and being so thorough and transparent. I had no idea there were so many options for monetization! I’ve been trying to find my place in the digital nomadsphere.

  18. Hi, I really love what I have seen from your blog thus far. I am a new, very new, blogger in the Caribbean and I was interested in doing something similar..do you have any tips to getting started in this field?

  19. Yes, the more twitter followers you have the higher the fee that you can charge. I have over 148,000 twitter followers and twitter parties and chats are one of my largest sources of income .

  20. Great post, I know I shoud’ve been earning a lot from my blogs (but merged it now) but because I couldn’t really organize it plus not getting enough time now to work on the blogs I just couldn’t get to bring it to the business blog/site. It’s still a hobby for me, but until I earn how to be organized with all the work or know how to delegate it I know it will still be the same.

    I’m bookmarking this and see if it gets me to do it one day. 🙂

  21. Wow that is amazing… And to be so open about it all… You definitely get a big pat on the back… We have a Facebook, Twitter and are still new to Instagram highlighting our travel experiences, and would like to get more into blogging with a web site, but alas, the thought is overwhelming for us… lol… Not that the thought of making money off it had even entered our mind, but just to share our travels and experiences is exciting enough for us… Again a very interesting read… 🙂

  22. Thanks, Jayne for the insights. My biggest question is how to even START these relationships!? When you FIRST started with monetization, were you pitching brands (how did you do it?) or were they approaching you? I want to start working with brands, press trips, etc but how do they even know I exist/ how do I reach out to the right person in the company?

  23. So much great information Jayne. I didn’t realize there were so many other ways of monetizing a blog aside from affiliate links, ebooks and sponsored posts. I wonder if most travel writers know your “secrets”, or you’re just that awesome! Very inspired by your blog, hoping to launch mine soon, fingers crossed.

  24. Thanks for being so open about the ways to make money and the income amounts that can be expected for bloggers with the kind of following you have. It’s taken me 4 years to get to the point that I can now get paid to go on trips (some) that I used to be happy to just get for free. As wonderful as the travel is it’s a tough job to be getting all of the photography and taking notes for content so we aren’t really on a free “vacation” – we’re working.

  25. This is a very honest post. I liked the way you put your thoughts across. This blog post talked to me. It almost reminded me what I want for my blog. I’m sure your post has inspired many like me.

  26. Thank you so much for this post. I have a blog for about a year and a half and it is hard to keep positive and going, as you said, “you need to love blogging”.
    I am was looking for new strategies to monetarize my blog and this post really helped. I do mostly digital consultancy for other companies, but I use my blog as a portfolio. What I really wish to do, though, is to be able to earn more blogging and do less consultancy, but still a great start 🙂


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